Oct 22, 2008

26th Oct 2008 ; Screening of The Butterfly

The Butterfly
A Film by Philippe Muyl
Country : France
French with English sub titles
Run time : 85 minutes
26th Oct 2008; 5.45 pm
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium

''The Butterfly'' is a delicate, visually translucent film, heartwarming story of a friendship between a grumpy old man and an 8-year-old girl. a sweet little angel melts the frozen heart of a bitter curmudgeon. Despite a suspicious gaze and down-turned mouth, the old man, Julien (Michel Serrault), a dedicated entomologist, is not the sort of crotchety caricature Hollywood might have made of him. Nor is Elsa (Claire Bouanich), the neglected child who lives upstairs in the same residential hotel, a miniature saint about to sprout wings.

The heart of the movie follows their quest for the elusive butterfly known as Isabella (named for the Spanish queen), which has a lifespan of only three days and three nights, and which in Julien's mind is associated with a personal tragedy. Nicolas Herdt's gorgeous, languid tracking shots of the two explorers trekking through hillside meadows and woods with misty snow-capped mountains looming in the background capture the wonder of nature as experienced through the eyes of a child. The sensuous atmosphere is so intense it's intoxicating.

The story reaches a dangerous turning point when Elsa is discovered to be missing.
The movie astutely underplays the tension of the later scenes, viewing events through Elsa's eyes rather than from the perspective of the panicked grownups. Its scrupulous, even-toned gentleness makes ''The Butterfly'' suitable for children, while its clear-eyed intelligence and refusal to condescend should make it appealing to adults.

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